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review 2016-11-11 23:00
Count down to Birthdays
Only Six More Days - Marisabina Russo

In the book, Molly gets jealous of her little brother, Ben. He is planning his birthday and Molly is not enjoying all the attention being on him. She has a very negative attitude towards her brother throughout the entire book. At the end Ben gets two baseball cards, Molly's old roller skates, a gum rapper chain, and a letter. The letter is sweet from Molly and Ben feels special. In the classroom we would read this book and then talk about if my students have ever felt jealous of someone else. I would have the students talk about why they felt this way and something they could have done to change the outcome.

I would then have a birthday chart and we would fill this out together. I would write students birthdays on my chart and begin a countdown for everyone's birthday. The students would then get a sheet of paper where I could tell them how many more days until their birthday. We would start a countdown with helps students to learn to count backwards.

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review 2013-09-24 14:09
Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso
Counting Backwards - Laura Lascarso

 Summary on GoodReads

 Firstly, the cover doesn’t go with the content of the book. They  should’ve put an angry girl on it, because that is what Taylor is,  angry all the time. She has to spend time at this special boarding  school --- read juvenile psychiatric correctional facility, after being  arrested for stealing a car and trying to run away.

 Annoying, heated and fuming Taylor is angry, well, at her parents  – mostly - and nothing that it is said to her goes through. Being  the new kid at this place comes with all the usual clichés: the girl  who doesn't like her, the girl who does, the boy who changes all  for her, her denial to be there and the fantastic reformation. 

Counting Backwards is like a romance novel minus the romance: it starts with a conflict, it reaches its peak and then ends happily everafter.

I also felt rushed while reading it, or was it me wanting to get it over with? But what the heck! I don’t like a book if it goes fast and I won’t like it either if it is slow. Hard to please, eh?

I am a sucker for boarding schools and rehab drama but this one didn't touch my cells. Probably I have higher standards on the subjects after reading The Little Woods and Cracked, but I just wasn't feeling the Alcatraz-Girl,Interrupted scenario. 

What I liked: Sassy Margo and her ways. 

What I didn’t like: Taylor’s anger; it became old news pretty soon. A.J. and his almost instant change because of Taylor; I mean, after 2 years of being and acting a certain way a girl shows up and you just change like that? Romance old style right there. 

Different opinions here and here.

Source: onlectus.blogspot.com/2012/10/counting-backwards-by-laura-lascarso.html
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review 2013-08-13 00:00
Counting Backwards - Laura Lascarso When Taylor gets caught stealing a car to escape from her alcoholic mother and the panic attacks she gets, she is sent to a center in order to recover and also to complete her probation time. Taylor is angry with her parents, hates being at the center, and is determined to use any means necessary in order to escape. After various attempts (which, by the way, was really fun to see her planning) and a refusal to participate in various aspects including therapy and school, Taylor starts to make friends, learn about herself, and face her fears. She strikes up a deal with her therapist after making a list of her fears, saying that after they address and deal with each one she is free to go. Part of her therapy also includes creating a garden with the guy she is attracted to but is conflicted about after she feels that he betrays her. She eventually gets over her grudge as the garden grows. While most of this book was a three-star read for me, my enjoyment of her recovery process bumped up the rating a bit.
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review 2013-01-05 00:00
Counting Backwards
Counting Backwards - Laura Lascarso This was one that I borrowed from the library before Christmas, but kept putting off reading because there were other books I wanted to read first. Well, I finally got around to reading this, and it turned out to be a very quick read – I finished it in two sittings.Here is the summary from the Kobo store: Taylor Truwell is a sixteen-year-old girl from Florida with a troubled past, a neglectful mother, a seemingly callous father, and an urge to flee. When Taylor is caught with a stolen car, her violent reaction lands her in court for resisting arrest. Her father convinces the judge of an alternative to punishment: treatment in a juvenile psychiatric correctional facility. And so Taylor arrives at Sunny Meadows. Sunny Meadows is anything but the easy way out, and Taylor has to fight hard just to hold on to her sanity as she battles her parents, an intrusive therapist, and a group of particularly nasty fellow patients. But even as Taylor clings to her stubborn former self, she gradually relents to new friendships—and to unexpected romance. Sunny Meadows goes against everything Taylor stands for. But could it be the place that saves her?I liked this book. I think I put off reading it for so long because I worried it would be dark and depressing, but it actually wasn’t.The story picks up as Taylor is brought to Sunny Meadows by her father, and she argues with him until he leaves. Clearly their relationship needs some work. However, she quickly makes friends with Margo. Margo’s funny and I really liked her, but she had some enemies who promptly informed Taylor that if she was Margo’s friend, she was their enemy too. Thankfully, though, this didn’t really lead to much – I wasn’t eager to read a book about girls beating each other up or anything – but Taylor’s relationship with these girls was interesting to watch progress throughout the book.Through Margo, Taylor meets A.J., who apparently doesn’t talk to anyone anymore. Taylor feels something for him though, and it was interesting to get to know A.J. and his story. In fact, getting to know a little about even some of the minor characters that become part of Taylor’s life, like Charlotte, McKenzie, and her classmates helped make the world feel big and real.Other than memories or flashbacks, the whole story takes place at Sunny Meadows, and Taylor’s progression through her treatment program. Initially, she is rebellious and hellbent on getting out of there one way or another. Over time, though, she begins to see a purpose in the way things work and chooses to participate in her treatment. This notion of control over her own life, through decision-making, seemed to be a really important part of her growth.Even when Taylor was being angry and acting out, I still liked her, because I understood why she was behaving that way. Sometimes when a main character is misbehaving on purpose, and out of anger, I get really frustrated and annoyed, but with Taylor, I sympathized. I don’t have any complaints about the characters in this book – I liked A.J. and appreciated that the romance between he and Taylor was slow going and took its time, and that their relationship was rocky at times. I also thought Margo was fabulous, and definitely my favourite character. Even some of the people I didn’t like much at first grew on me by the end of the story. The exception to that might be Margo’s mother. I didn’t like her, and I didn’t dislike her – I guess I was sad for her.Much of Taylor’s issues to work through involved her relationships with her parents, who are separated. She sees her father as cold and distant, and she has been living with her alcoholic mother. Although Taylor loves her mother, she also feels abandoned by her. It seemed that Taylor had avoided dealing with her feelings about her mother for such a long time, and I thought the scenes where she finally began to address these feelings were really well-written.In fact, I thought the whole book was well-written. The story flowed, and every time I told myself I’d put the book down after the current chapter, I wound up reading the next one because I just didn’t want to stop. Taylor’s growth seemed real to me and when she began to change, it seemed genuine and authentic, not just a ‘quick fix’ for the sake of the plot.I don’t think I’ve read much contemporary YA fiction lately, so this was a nice change of pace and a really good book that I definitely recommend.(From www.pingwings.ca)
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review 2012-10-18 00:00
Counting Backwards - Laura Lascarso Counting Backwards - Laura Lascarso Counting Backwards reminds me for some reason a little bit of Leaving Paradise and Return to Paradise. It had that therapeutic energy,like it's your personal shrink. Don't know if this makes any sense.
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